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mid-14c., from ware (n.) + house. Cf. Dutch warenhuis, German warenhaus. Meaning "large impersonal institution" is American English colloquial, first attested 1970.
1799, from warehouse (n.). In the colloquial sense from 1972. Related: Warehoused; warehousing.
Any large, impersonal institution: a warehouse for the elds (1970+)